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Guess Which President Has Been Best for Stocks?

Friday, 7 Sep 2012 | 12:49 PM ET
U.S. President Barack Obama delivers his acceptance speech to run for a second term as president.
Stan Honda | AFP | Getty Images
U.S. President Barack Obama delivers his acceptance speech to run for a second term as president.

The U.S. economy may not be recovering as fast as President Obama likes, but at least he can make one claim: The stock market has done better under his watch than with any other recent president.

Since Obama's inauguration on Jan. 20 2009, all three major U.S. stock indexes are up more than 60 percent. The Nasdaq Composite alone has soared a whopping 105 percent.

Of course, Obama took office following one of the biggest market selloffs in history. From Sept 1, 2008—just before the collapse of Lehman Brothers triggered the financial crisis—until Obama's inauguration, the S&P 500 punged 34 percent, with the Dow and Nasdaq making similar declines.

The president also would have to credit Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke for much of the recovery. The central bank's quantitative easing, which was launched in reaction to the financial crisis, has pushed interest rates so low that stocks have looked attractive by comparison.

Even so, the market has performed better during Obama's 43 1/2 months in office than in any of the five prior administrations. In fact, the S&P 500 has outperformed most of the major world indexes during his presidency.

During Obama's term so far, the top three Dow components have been American Express, Home Depot and Disney, each all up more than 140 percent.

Priceline.com, Apple and Whole Foods have led the S&P 500, each up over 700 percent.

Here's a look at the performance of some of the major asset classes since Obama was sworn in as the 44th president. The figures are from Jan. 16, 2009, the last trading day of the George W. Bush administration.

  Price   Change %Change
AAPL
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AXP
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HD
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DIS
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